I usually lead worship, and though I get a chance to step back from the mic on occasion, it is not often that I get a chance to make changes to any of my pedals between songs. I set the tones I need for the set, and just let it go. Before I got my hands on the DL4, at the suggestion of a friend, I was working with an Eloctro-Harmonix Memory Toy. I was getting some really good tones out of the Memory Toy, but I simply did not have enough control. Dialing that little guy in to some of our more ambient and delay driven songs was a pain. I would watch in envy (the righteous kind…well there is no such thing so I guess just the bad kind of envy…fail) as my fellow guitarist would have their settings recalled at the tap of a pedal and I was relegated to very specific types of delay that would only get used on a song or two that I would choose before we started the set. I needed a solution, and I had very little no money. Enter the aforementioned Line 6 DL4. For about $50 and the price I got for the Memory Toy (A good pedal in the hands of those more able to use it), I got my Line 6 DL4.
The first thing to note about this pedal is the size. This guy is a hoss. It takes up the space of 3-4 standard pedals, and uses a ton of power. My board went from sparse looking to crammed with the addition of this pedal. It is also heavy, which for my stationary use it mostly fine. When I do take my board with me, I am immediately aware of the pedals wight. From the power standpoint, this pedal is even more of a hoss. The pedal comes with a necessary AC power adapter, also a very heavy one. The pedal runs on a typical 9v, but requires 2000mA to get it running. Comparing this to my Memory Toy’s 18mA draw, and you can tell this is a different type of power hog. I have yet to find a pedalboard power supply that has a 2000mA output included. This means that you have to have another outlet under your board. Not a deal breaker but a pain. All this amounts to a very large, heavy, and power hungry pedal.
On to the usefulness of the pedal, the DL4 is brilliant. Pound for pound (the price kind not the physical kind) the DL4 is perhaps the best delay modeler out there. For such an inexpensive pedal there are a ton of different tones and delays to be had. Digital modeling of 16 vintage delay and echo effects that include: Analog and Digital delays, Tube Echoplex, Space Echo, Deluxe Memory Man, Reverse, and many more. Each one of these have adjustable parameters thanks to the 5 large control knobs across the top of the pedal. There are 3 recallable presets and tap temp0. And finally there is a 14 second loop sampler. Again, for the price this is very feature heavy pedal. In most instances the delay is spot on. I have found it hard to get perfect tone recreation in the delay, or perhaps better stated the specific tone decay I am looking for. The decay in tone for me feels, across most of the settings, very electronic and unnatural. This is, of course lost in our live sound, but it is there and I know it.
My favorite setting for worship is the Anolog W/Mod which does a decent job recreating the sound of an analog delay, but ads chorus to the repeated tones, much like the Deluxe Memory Man from Electo-Harmonix. Again, the level of chorus and modulation are adjustable, making all of the settings useful. There is, of course, some fun to be had with the Reverse and Auto Volume Echo settings, as well as all of the others, but I love the decay of an analog delay, so I use it. Also, don’t forget to test out the Stereo Delay so you can play “Where The Streets Have No Name” the way it should be.
All-in-all, the Line 6 DL4 is a phenomenal pedal, and especially so for the price. You really are getting multiple legendary pedals (or full delay boxes of the past) all in one (relatively) small space. The tones available are nearly endless and they folks at Line 6 have done a great job recreating some very classic sounds. With three selectable presets and a tap tempo, this pedal will get you through a Sunday worship set and more. The only real knock I have is the power consumption which causes a mild amount of inconvenience to the power structure beneath my board. But for what you get in the pedal for its price, it is well worth any hassle. New, these pedals retail for about a couple hundred dollars below some similar pedals. Used, these can be gotten for ridiculous discounts off the already great price point. Well worth the price, and that is an understatement. I have thought often of simplifying my delay setup, but I keep hanging on to this pedal, it is just too useful to let go.